Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Dusk in Kuwait

Dusk anywhere is one of my favorite times of day. In Riyadh, my husband and I would head down to the Dira’a souk, usually arriving just before the Isha call to prayer. We would buy a couple felafel sandwiches and a juice drink and sit in the large courtyard by the fort and eat our sandwiches while all the shops were closed for prayers. The sky would go from deep blue to a very deep blue purple, and it was that moment we waited for – the stars just visible and this just-before-black incredible color.

In my mind there is also a hush, but that is unlikely, as there were usually women and their children waiting in the same area for the men to finish their worship, and the children would be playing.

We are still looking for felafel sandwiches that taste that good. We would laugh; eating out for under $2 and it felt like such luxury.

In Kuwait, we are usually on our way to meet up with friends or somewhere around dusk. I always have my camera handy – you just NEVER know what you might see.

This isn’t really dusk, but it is dusky, in the interiors/exteriors shop as you enter the Free Trade Zone in Shwaikh – I can’t help it, I love this shop:

Not crisp, but the skyline is so eccentric:

Dwarfed in downtown Kuwait:

Almost dark – the mosque in the circle, downtown Kuwait:

June 21, 2007 - Posted by | Biography, Cross Cultural, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Lumix, Photos, Saudi Arabia


  1. Beautiful shots. 😀

    Comment by macaholiq8 | June 21, 2007 | Reply

  2. Ahhhhh, Mac, I know you are just being kind because YOU have a hot new camera with all the bells and whistles. When are we going to see some photos?

    Comment by intlxpatr | June 21, 2007 | Reply

  3. I am looking at the temperature from the same LCD on top of the building in your third photo above. Happens that where i am putting up temporarily allows me to have a good view of that display – and it reads 39 deg now! It sure is hot, even for someone coming from Southeast Asia! Nice blog!

    Comment by Don | June 21, 2007 | Reply

  4. Don, You are in downtown Kuwait! Don, you are close to the Souk Mubarakiyya, the old central market, have you been there? It is at its liveliest after dark. Early in the morning, you can get a great breakfast there, flat bread so hot from the oven that it burns your fingers, to dip in hummor, mutabbel, scoop tabouli, baba ghanoush! Oh, you are in for such a treat!

    Comment by intlxpatr | June 22, 2007 | Reply

  5. me think me love dat shop too 😀

    It’s gr8 that they let you take a pic of their place. I once tried taking pictures of the lanterns outside Sultan Center in Salmiya and the security guy came out and stopped me; said we need permission.

    Comment by Magical Droplets | June 22, 2007 | Reply

  6. One day my friend… one day… 😛

    Comment by macaholiq8 | June 22, 2007 | Reply

  7. Hi Intlxpatr, yeah i think i am in Downtown Kuwait. Been walking around and i think the Souk you mentioned should be near to the Heritage Souk, and near to where there’s a stand-alone Macs huh? Just walked inside earlier tonight and saw shops selling everything from household stuff, food (dates :p), groceries and snacks etc! Nice place instead. Havent tried the food at all the shops outside cos its been too warm, even at night. Am looking forward to trying them nearer to Sept 🙂 Thanks for the recommendations!

    Comment by Don | June 22, 2007 | Reply

  8. Magical – Here is the secret weapon – a great big smile. And you do the blonde thing, even if you are mutahajiba! We call it “take the spank”.

    Prepare to take the photo and snap off what you can as quickly as possible. Take several, one is bound to turn out. If someone confronts you, go into the “oh my God! It’s forbidden? The lantern? Oh my stars, how can it be possible? Look how beautiful it is! I can’t resist, how can you say no photos! Look at how beautiful it is?”

    And you leave them looking dazed and confused, one man said to me “Madam, too many words!” And – you HAVE the photo!

    Don – yes! yes! you have found it already, the heart of Kuwait! I have a favorite path – from what I call the “old” gold souk (will some reader help me out here and tell me what the building is called that you drive up a ramp to the upstairs parking lot and take an elevator down to the mezanine and shop level?) straight down into the food court, where several shops serve meals outdoors with some of the freshest food in Kuwait.

    My Kuwaiti friends look at us in utter horror when we tell them we eat there, but are captivated once they eat there with us – it is fun, it is lively, and the food is good. Like it’s just plain everyday food, grills, hummus, etc, but the bread is fresh and hot. In the winter, there are little heaters, and hot tea on heater containers – it is probably my favorite place in Kuwait.

    And we love the market. You can find anything. It takes a while not to get lost – I can still get turned around – but it’s worth it. Lucky you!

    Now, next you have to find the Friday market, and then the LuLu (nearby) and Ace Hardware. These are also unique experiences. . .Have fun!

    Comment by intlxpatr | June 23, 2007 | Reply

  9. Mac – one day soon? Yeh, I’m pushy, but I want to see what your new camera will do. Any news on the new assignment for next year?

    Comment by intlxpatr | June 23, 2007 | Reply

  10. Love this site. You folks obviously like adventure. I’m thinking of applying for a job soon (!) in Kuwait, and wonder how to find the ex-pats who love the city. Do you all recommend relocating? Is it a fun ex-pat community?

    I’m leaving Foreign Service to work contract jobs…and found one here.

    Let me hear from you. Patricia

    Comment by Patricia Wilson | June 23, 2007 | Reply

  11. Thanks, Patricia. We feel greatly blessed. We were wired for this kind of life, and we feel blessed to have it.

    Like most expat communities, you make your own fun. There are groups, like the British Ladies (but open to all) who are great at helping you get acquainted with the city quickly. There is the AWARE Center, where you can learn Arabic and local culture. There are monthly cultural lectures at the Dar al (something ;-P ) and singing groups that give concerts. There are churches and there is a textile association, and all of these are great for getting to meet other expats, plus, of course, where you work. There are English language papers and, of course, Kuwait Bloggers – check the blogroll at the right – where you can learn all kinds of things.

    Comment by intlxpatr | June 23, 2007 | Reply

  12. I have only been here for a week so i cannot comment much. Going around after work has been interesting, definitely different from places i spent lotsa time in before – Singapore, UK and USA. New food, new environment, new people and whole new culture to adapt to, but its been quite fun so far. Only BIG grouse is that my gf, who’s British, is trying to visit, and i am having a hard time trying to gather up information of how to get her an invite, or whether she even needs an invite to get the visa-upon-arrival. Any one from Britain and can advice? 🙂

    Comment by Don | June 23, 2007 | Reply

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